Kurt v. Turkey

Key Judgment


Legal Relevance

Keywords: Judicial Protection | Relatives as Victims | Duty to Investigate | Burden of Proof | Obligation to Prevent | Interim/Urgent Measures | Deprivation of Liberty | Evidence

Themes: Characteristics of the Crime | Prevention | Related Crimes

The Court noted that unacknowledged detention of an individual amounts to a complete negation of the corpus of substantive rights guaranteed by Article 5 and therefore a most grave violation of the right to liberty. Article 5 must be seen as requiring the authorities to take effective measures to safeguard against the risk of disappearance and to conduct a prompt effective investigation into an arguable claim that a person has been taken into custody and has not been seen since. The Court applied a standard of evidence "beyond reasonable doubt" requiring "concrete evidence" of the violation of Articles 2 and 3 with regard to the victim. It found that the ill-treatment of relatives of disappeared persons can, in some circumstances, attain the minimum level of severity required for it to fall within the scope of Article 3.

Judgment Date

May 25, 1998

Country

Turkey

Judicial Body

European Court of Human Rights

Articles violated

Article 3 [ECHR], Article 5 [ECHR], Article 13 [ECHR], Article 25(1) [ECHR]

Articles not violated / not dealt with

Article 2 [ECHR], Article 14 [ECHR], Article 18 [ECHR]

Facts of the Case

Mr. Üzeyir Kurt was found to have been disappeared by Turkish security forces on 25 November 1993. He was last seen by his mother, the applicant in the case, surrounded by soldiers and village guards with bruises and swelling on his face.

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